Posted by: Cathy | March 4, 2013

Marching Onward – the Importance of a Habit

Making your goal or project into a habit is an easy way to make your dreams come true.

Marching is a good metaphor for this. In a parade march, you don’t have to think about where you’re going because the pace and route are already set up for you. This is what a habit can do for your goals; pace and guide you forward.

The origin of the word “habit” is “to dwell in”, as in “habitat.” By making a habitat for your goals, you give them space to grow and expand. It also gives you a space to inhabit your dreams! The more you inhabit them, the more real they become.

Coach Blog 030413 They say it takes 21 days to build a habit, but just take it one day at a time. Start small; for the first day, maybe just spend 5 minutes visualizing your dream. The second day, spend 10 minutes making a list of steps you could take toward your dream. The third day, plan out what you need to take one of those steps. The fourth day, take that step. If you miss a day, just rededicate yourself and get back into it one day at a time.

Build up to whatever time commitment you can manage. If you’re trying to build a meditation practice and you can only manage 10 minutes each morning, ignore the books telling you to do 45-minute sessions. Find what is right for you today. The important thing is to do a little bit every day. Once you can manage 10 minutes of meditation daily, maybe after a few weeks you’ll really enjoy doing it and will be able to find an extra five minutes to cut out of another activity so you can increase your meditations to 15 minutes. By making a little progress on your goal, you’ll build momentum to make even more progress.

Also, try to schedule your habit at the same time each day, if possible; especially if you can tie it to another activity. For example, if you’re trying a meditation practice, it’s easier to remember to meditate if you do it just before breakfast every day; then, before you reach for your bagel, you remember to sit on your cushion for 10 minutes.

Start today! Before you brush your teeth tonight, spend five minutes thinking about your dream and what you could do to build a habit for it. Inhabit your dreams!

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